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Joint Resolution on Scholarly Communication and Faculty Copyrights

UCI Academic Senate Assembly Council on Computing,
Research, and Library Resources UCI Libraries

Background

Society and civilization are enhanced and enriched through the discovery, sharing, and use of new knowledge. The highest goals and aspirations of the academy and scholars are to create and widely share new knowledge for the benefit of society.

The current structures of the scholarly communication process often impede, rather than enhance, the exchange of new knowledge through approaches that impose access restrictions for private economic gain rather than provide broad access for the common good.

The current process must change if academic libraries and universities are to continue providing faculty, students, and staff with the access they require to the world’s scholarship and knowledge. Otherwise, scholars will be hindered in creating new knowledge and unable to make the results of their research widely available. The vitality and progress of society will suffer.

Actions may be taken on a variety of fronts. The UC libraries are collaborating on a number of issues and report progress at http://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu . The University of California Academic Council has established a Special Committee on Scholarly Communication (SCSC), which will analyze alternative methods of scholarly publications, methods of evaluating and ensuring high-quality publications for consideration in academic promotion and tenure; business model(s) for publications; and the role of scholarly societies in scholarly communications. (http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate/news/source/source2_2.pdf ).

The granting of authors’ copyrights, however, is a key issue, which is directly affected by individual faculty decisions, and can be considered for influential action.


Copyrights

Much of the content of scholarly publications is contributed by scholars who also provide essential peer review and editorial work for very little or no compensation.

In addition, creators are often asked or required to transfer their copyrights to publishers who then control the use of the scholar’s work in ways that may be contrary to the objectives of wide dissemination and use. When the creator gives away copyright he or she no longer necessarily has the right to permit wide use of that work in a variety of ways that advance the goals of scholars and the academy for education and research. Traditional and emerging uses include classroom use, posting on class websites, distance education, electronic reserve, deposit in an open archive, eScholarship, long term electronic preservation archives, as examples.

The power to change the structure of scholarly publishing lies with those who create the content. UCI faculty own the copyright to their creations and can exercise those rights in a variety of ways that are appropriate for the situation, the publisher, and the faculty member’s interests.

The UCI Libraries, through their Scholarly Communication and Management Program (SCAMP), will work with faculty to develop copyright workshops and consultations, educational materials on copyright, standard language for use in publisher’s contracts, copyright management programs, and other support services to facilitate the widest dissemination and use of scholarly materials.


Resolution

The Senate endorses the following guidelines developed by the UCI Libraries and the Senate Council on Research, Computing, and Library Resources (CORCLR), as advisory to UCI faculty. Opportunities for faculty to retain or exercise copyrights vary by discipline, publisher, and stages of career. Consequently, it is recognized that each faculty member must make decisions based on a variety of factors. UCI faculty who are authors, editors, and/or members of editorial boards, are encouraged to observe the following guidelines when circumstances allow.

  • Advocate changes that strengthen scholarly communication and enhance the dissemination of knowledge to society.
  • Support broad access and availability of scholarly information and research to the academy and society by considering publication in high-quality journals that also have affordable pricing models that sustain wide dissemination.
  • Manage author’s rights in ways that allow author retention of critical aspects of copyright, in order to insure the widest dissemination of works in service to education and research (e.g. web pages, e-reserves, classroom use, discipline based depositories).
  • In conjunction with the UCI Libraries, utilize and explore alternative modes of managing copyrights and publishing, preserving, and disseminating information that allow broad access (e.g. eScholarship, self-archiving, open access journals).